Many, if not most, animal lovers know what it's like to have to make the tough decision to let your beloved pet go to doggy or kitty (or whatever-else) heaven. I once had a cat that was a stray my sister found. She begged me to take him. And he was a pretty cat, but I guess his years as a stray had affected him because, as I told everyone, "He just lives in my house." In other words, he minded his own business. He mostly stayed out of sight; never sat on my lap or came around to be petted. He kept to himself. Then one day, he had a sudden medical emergency. The vet said there wasn't anything he could do. I was upset, but not devastated. I realized all along that I simply wasn't that attached to poor Butterscotch.
But then there was Penny - the little toy fox terrier I grew up with. And Casey, the best Siamese cat in the whole world (he thought he was a dog - he played fetch, and he even went for walks on a leash). And Bo, my first sheltie - what a sweetie. Then last summer, it was Zack, and this week it was his brother, Obie. It's such a tough thing to make the decision to let your beloved pet go.
I remember the first time someone sent me a copy of the poem, "The Rainbow Bridge" - it was right after my Bo passed. It tells the story of a bridge that connects heaven and earth, and a place of lush, green pastures where the pets we've loved and lost go as they wait to be reunited with us. It's a heartwarming poem - actually, a tear-jerking poem - that raises the question, "do animals go to heaven?"
Today, someone told me about a statement made by Billy Graham many years ago. Someone had apparently asked Rev. Graham if our pets go to heaven. And he replied that heaven will be a place of perfect happiness, and if having our pets in heaven with us is something that will make us happy, they will be there.
I tend to agree, Billy! God is good. And I want to thank Him for the thirteen years that Obie brought joy to my heart!